Getting a job in Belgium

Hello! I am a french speaker and am very interested in moving to Brussels, Belgium from the United States after I receive my masters in nursing to become a nurse practitioner. Does anyone know how difficult it may be to obtain a nursing job? I've read that it can be fairly difficult getting a job and visa but with my eventual qualifications I am wondering how difficult it may be for me.

What country are you from? 

You would have more opportunities for growth in your career in the states vs. here in Belgium.

I wouldn't say difficult; I would say it will be a long process and a big adjustment.  NPs aren't recognized here that I know of, so if you obtain work here your position would be below your qualifications in other words your Master's degree that you've worked hard for would be wasted trying to work here.  Your degree from the U.S. would most definitely be accepted though.  I must warn you the system here is different than in the states.

Are you coming here to live alone or with someone?  Hopefully you will have someone here to help guide you through the process.......... preferably a Belgian native.

Before even thinking about finding a job here you will first have to obtain permission to stay/live here and then you will need to apply for a work permit.  This does take time and everyone isn't approved to live here and work here especially if you are a non-EU national.

Think long and hard about your career before you decide to move here.

Hello anaiscs,

Just once question before answering to yours. If you are french speaker as you say, why did you ask nothing on the french part of this forum? ...

Now concerning your "case", it is a very simple one. As any foreigner who want to work or to study in Belgium, it is mandatory to ask to the ministery if your diplomas or licences are accepted. And most especially for some functions like yours in the medical sector.

To obtain an equivalence of function:
- Equivalencies with the existing training in nursing Belgium (we have 2 levels: one professional, one master) are given by the Ministry (SPF) of health on the basis of documentation that you must provide:
- Detailed CV
- Birth certificate and a certificate of good conduct (criminal record =)
- Copy of the program and details of courses taken, grades obtained / industry and purpose + high school diploma
- Copy of the program and details of courses taken, grades obtained / branch and courses (time, place, grades) and diploma nursing education
- Letters of previous employers

All: legalized (authenticated) by the competent authority of your country.

Based on these documents, the Ministry (SPF) defines the level of equivalence function and thus working with one of the two Belgian titles.

I invite you to contact the Department of the academic and professional recognition of foreign diplomas of higher education:

- Preferably by sending an email to equi.sup[at]cfwb.be;
- By telephone (Tuesday and Wednesday from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (00 32 (0) 2 690 89 00);
- At the opening of the offices to the public on Mondays and Thursdays from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (address: Directorate-General for Education not mandatory and Scientific Research - Service of academic and professional recognition of foreign diplomas - 5th floor- rue Adolphe Lavallée, 1-1080 BRUSSELS);
- By mail (see address above)
- By fax (fax): 00 32 (0) 2 690 88 90.

Then when your skills have been recognized, you can start your search with Belgian hospitals and receive your work permit.

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